If you do not take any action within the time limit, the statutes provide that you will automatically be found to have committed the infraction.
You would not be sent to jail for an infraction.
If you do not pay the fines and other costs, your driver's license will eventually be suspended for nonpayment.
If you are caught driving while your driver's license is suspended, you will be charged with a criminal law violation.
If you are convicted of the criminal law violation, you can end up in jail.
The best thing to do is to take care of the ticket now.
Perhaps your attorney will find a procedural error that will result in the ticket being dismissed.
Perhaps your attorney can negotiate the ticket into a nonmoving violation with a lower fine.
You are talking about an infraction ticket. If you don't pay it the court will rule that you committed the offense and sent a fine for you to pay. Then they will notify DOL here in WA state and will suspended your drivers license. This is not what you want to do because you don't want to get a criminal offense for driving while susupened or without a valid license. Pay the ticket. Or fight the ticket.
I agree with my colleagues. Additionally if you do not respond to the ticket - a failure to respond (FTR) will show on the court docket and an addition fine/fee of $52.00 is added to the amount of the infraction (if you set a court date and failed to appear an FTA would show on the docket). If you fail to respond or appear and then send in the amount of the ticket and don't include the additional fee, your license will still eventually be suspended by DOL. It is also a very good idea to always notify DOL when you have a new address. Letters from the court or DOL will not get forwarded even if you request mail forwarding from the Post Office.
Also keep in mind that the court will forward the amount owed to a collections agency. If and when it gets sent to collections, they might have additional fees you will have to pay. In order to reinstate your license you will have to pay the amount of the ticket plus and extra fees, the collection agency fee and a reinstatement fee to DOL for your license.
This information does not create an attorney-client relationship nor does it constitute legal advice. Evaluate this information and independently decide how to proceed. Consult an attorney who practices in the county in question.